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8 Things to Do in Rotorua on a Rainy Day


Things to do in Rotorua when it’s raining.

New Zealand’s geothermal hot spot has lots to offer even when the weather is morbid! Aside from the obvious cinema, bowling and afternoon in the pub, the city of Rotorua can still offer an awesome time even when the weather is not compliant. Although it might be tempting to stay in the hostel, moving from the lobby to the room following the WiFi connection, you can seriously do better in Rotorua! With that in mind, here’s a list of things to do in Rotorua on a rainy day!

We understand that sometimes reading our Rotorua – Guide for Backpackers simply can’t wait, so follow our guide to 7 activities that you can do in Rotoroa – even in the rain!

Backpacker Deals Rotorua

1. Go to the spa

With the city branded as a “geothermal wonderland”, there is more thermal pools than you can count! Stewing in a natural hot pool while it is raining is the perfect mix of hot and cold. If you don’t like the raindrops falling on your head, there are always sheltered options, like some of the pools at the Polynesian Spa.

Save money and get yourself in one of the 5 free natural hot pools in Rotorua.


2. Visit the Rotorua Museum

Packed with exhibitions, the Rotorua Museum offers great insight into the history of the area. Its human history is detailed with a great focus on the heavy Maori presence and its geologic history is showcasing the power of the earth that dramatically impacts the city and surroundings. [Update: The Rotorua Museum is closed for development].

Antilived on Wikipedia

3. Experience Ogo

Ogo offers two options for rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball: dry or wet. On a rainy day, you might as well choose the wet option and jump in the free spa pool before and after your run.


4. Be inspired by a Maori show

A few Maori villages offer “covered” Maori shows, but your best dry options Te Puia or the Pohutu Cultural Theatre. If they have a show on the day you visit, you will be treated to a buffet of cultural delicacies, as well as a full show by local iwi (tribe). See your options in 13 Places to Experience Maori Culture in New Zealand.


5. Read a good book at the library

Ok, this might be the grasping-at-straws option, but go to the library! Loads of good books, including a great selection on the local Maori tribes, can be read on-the-spot free of charge. The library also has computers and free WiFi, so you can keep in touch with home while waiting for the rain to calm down.
Note: the library is closed on Sundays.

 Abhi Sharma on Flickr

6. Epic white water rafting

Since you will already be wet from the rain, you may as well be drenched! Rotorua is home to one of the most epic white rafting in the world – the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, in fact! Doing the trip in bad weather makes it more dramatic. Nonetheless, no matter the weather, the equipment provided will keep you warm! See your white water rafting options in Rotorua here.

Rotorua Economic Development Ltd (Rotorua NZ).

7. Get a tattoo

Getting a tattoo in New Zealand, especially a Maori-inspired one, is a pretty popular way for backpackers to remember their travels. Rotorua is bathing in Maori culture, so some of the best tattoo artists in the country are here ready to ink you with either contemporary or traditional methods.


8. Watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year!

Get some inspiration for your next epic New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube! Watch as these backpackers take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe.

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